Compare and Contrast Two Social Science Views About the Ordering of Social Life.

For this assignment I will compare and contrast the two approaches to explaining social ordering of life by social scientist Erving Goffman and philosopher Michel Foucault who view orders in different ways. Goffman focusses on interactions between people, observing how people perform their social roles, producing social order via their actions and their ceremonial behaviours in everyday life. Foucault examined how social order is shaped and organised by authoritative knowledge, concentrating mainly on the relationship between power and knowledge and how they are used as a system of social control by social institutes and authorities. Initially I will look at their claims, concepts and evidences and later draw out the similarities and differences in order to compare and contrast their approaches.
Social scientists are constantly exploring what makes and maintains social orders in the society. They investigate what can damage or disrupt it and enforce and restore it as well as how authoritative knowledge is used to govern societies. They are interested in both the explicit and implicit set of rules and expectations that organise social lives and enable people to live together (Bromley & Clarke, 2009, p.298). Rules are generally created and enforced for the wellbeing of the society as they provide a mundane sense of order in which the people living in a place are expected to behave in a particular manner that is accepted by the community. They each have a role to fulfil or a regulation to follow that produces a social order. This order can defer from place to place and from one time to another for example the interrelation of people and motor traffic has been ordered and reordered at different times (Bromley & Clarke, 2009, p.299).
It is believed and understood to be the ‘norm’ when people behave in a manner that is expected of them or when they fulfil their social obligations, a social order is maintained but when these rules are broken and people ‘misbehave’ the...